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ABS, partners test Polar Code requirements through search and rescue exercise offshore Norway

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In April, ABS partnered with the Norwegian coast guard, academic institutions and other stakeholder companies to perform a search and rescue exercise in Svalbard, Norway. The University of Stavanger, Company GMC and the Norwegian Coast Guard organized the exercise, which took place on the K V Svalbard, a Norwegian Coast Guard vessel. The exercise was conducted to gain a better understanding of the IMO Polar Code’s requirements, which many in the industry regard as vague, according to ABS. For example, the code requires the crews of maritime vessels, including drilling rigs, to be equipped be able to survive five days in polar waters while awaiting rescue. There was concern about whether this was even possible with existing equipment, said ABS ...

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Petronas implements enterprise-level real-time data management infrastructure

Petronas implemented the Real Time Well Solution, an enterprise real-time data management solution with web-based delivery, in 2014. The data management infrastructure is helping the operator to better manage its rig-site drilling operations from remote locations.

Although Petronas had established its Smart Drilling Optimization Monitoring Centre (Smart DOMC) in 2010, the operator decided in 2014 to change its approach to rig-site monitoring. “At that time, the environment of the real-time (monitoring) was fully managed by a service company, so we felt that we didn’t have control,” Noorazmah Yusoff with Petronas said in a presentation at the 2016 IADC/SPE Asia Pacific Drilling Technology Conference, held 22-24 August in Singapore. “We wanted to have more control of the data, from the location portion up to the integration portion of it.”

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Shale, tight gas production from Argentina’s Neuquén Basin on the rise, while Venezuela suffers dramatic production declines

Figure 1: Tight gas production from Argentina’s Neuquén Basin more than doubled between January 2014 and January 2016, according to Wood Mackenzie. The Lajas and Mulichinco formations were responsible for the bulk of tight gas production during this period. Overall, there are 11 tight developments under way in the basin, including Total’s drilling program in the Aguada Pichana block and YPF and Petrolera Pampa’s $150 million investment in the Rincón del Mangrullo block.

While much of the E&P attention in Latin America is focused on Brazil’s pre-salt, Argentina and Venezuela both remain key E&P players on the continent, as well. In Argentina’s Neuquén Basin, tight gas production has already doubled since 2014, and production from the Vaca Muerta shale formation is expected to double between 2015 and 2018, according to Wood Mackenzie.

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IADC developing guidelines for alarm management on rigs

At Maersk Training’s facility in Houston, simulator-based exercises incorporate practicing proper responses to alarms on a rig. Drillers, in particular, must deal with a high volume of alarms in their job, potentially making them susceptible to alarm blindness. This happens when users are inundated with so many alarms that they do not pay attention to the root cause of the alarms. Through the new alarm management guidelines, the IADC Drilling Control Systems Subcommittee aims to help drilling contractors assess alarm functionality, prioritization and management of change.

The IADC Drilling Control Systems (DCS) Subcommittee under the Advanced Rig Technology (ART) Committee is developing a set of alarm management guidelines for the drilling industry. “We are suggesting that drilling contractors, land and offshore, have an alarm philosophy in place that is appropriate for the drilling control systems and inventory on their rigs,” said Christopher Goetz, Partner at Kingston Systems. Mr Goetz is on a working group of subcommittee members leading the development of the guidelines.

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